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Five years ago Jane Stern was a walking encyclopedia of panic attacks depression and hypochondria Her marriage of than thirty years was suffering and she was virtually immobilized by fear and anxiety As the daughter of parents who both died before she was thirty Stern was terrified of illness and death and despite the fact that her acclaimed career as a food and travel writer reuired her to spend a great deal of time on airplanes she suffered from a persistent fear of flying and severe claustrophobia But a strange thing happened one day on a plane that was grounded at the Minneapolis airport for six horrible foodless airless hours A young man on a trip with his classmates suddenly became dizzy and pale because he hadn’t eaten in many hours and there was no food left on the plane Without thinking about it Jane gave him the candy bar that she had in her purse A short time later the color had returned to his cheeks the boy was laughing again wit. Loved loved loved this book I could not put it down I read it in one day Jane Stern is fighting depression and a series of phobias that we learn stem from a challenging and sad childhood as well as family background so at the age of 53 she decides to become an EMT Reminiscent of Michael Perry s writing in Population 485 we laugh and cry as Jane takes all her coursework in the first half of the book and then puts her knowledge to practice in the second half of the book She is so appreciative about what she is learning and so observant of the personal dynamics around her It is wonderful And by the end you are so proud of her accomplishments and how she has risen above all the negative things that were holding her back She finds a sense of community with the other EMTs that she never had before Powerful stuff It makes you ask How can I do something brave Funnily Jane and her husband are regular contributors to A Splendid Table on NPR So if you want to hear what her voice sounds like you can hear it on there

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Ambulance Girl How I Saved Myself By Becoming an EMT

H his friends and Jane realized that this one small act of kindness helping another person who was suffering had provided her with comfort and a sense of well beingIt was shortly thereafter that this fifty two year old writer decided to become an emergency medical technician eventually coming to be known as Ambulance Girl Stern tells her story with great humor and poignancy creating a wonderful portrait of a middle aged Woody Allen–ish woman who was “deeply and neurotically terrified of sick and dead people” but who went out into the world to save other people’s lives as a way of saving her own Her story begins with the boot camp of EMT training 140 hours at the hands of a dour ex marine who took delight in presenting a veritable parade of amputations hideous deformities and gross disasters Jane overweight and badly out of shape had to surmount physical challenges like carrying a 250 pound man seated in a chair down a dark flight of sta. The stories about her EMT calls were interesting but the endless talk of her depression phobias and other issues were too distracting Woe Is Ambulance GirlI realize the author was trying to show the contrast between what she initially thought she could handle what she ultimately had to do as an EMT However she constantly cast herself in a girly I m too rich and scared of everything and my custom cowboy boots are too fancy to deal with vomit light that was really off putting and always brought you back to the uestion of why the hell would someone like that debilitating fears and all choose to be a paramedicIt seemed like every time the reader is able to feel good about Jane responding well to a call Stern then had to berate herself for something else and remind the reader that she is still battling her fears blaming her poor home life suffering in her marriage sighWe just want to be happy for you Jane It s cool that you became an EMT in your 50s despite being terrified to ride on a bus much less in an ambulance Stop trying to convince us you re really a wimp because it just brings us downCoarsely written sprinkled with a few typos Decent uick read for the interesting 911 calls

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Irs After class she did rounds in the emergency room of a local hospital where she attended to a schizophrenic kickboxer who had tried to kill his mother that morning and a stockbroker who was taken off the commuter train to Manhattan with delirium tremens so bad it killed himEach call Stern describes is a vignette of human nature often with a life in the balance From an AIDS hospice to town drunks yuppie wife beaters to psychopaths Jane comes to see the true nature and underlying mysteries of a town she had called home for twenty years Throughout the book we follow her as she gets her sea legs and finally bonds with the burly handsome firefighters who become her colleagues At the end she is named the first woman officer of the department a triumph we joyously share with her Ambulance Girl is an inspiring story by a woman who found somewhat late in life that “in helping others I learned to help myself” It is a book to be treasured and share. I grabbed this book from a display at the library I am familiar with the writing of Jane and Michael Stern and their food writing is generally betterNot that the writing was bad this is a fast interesting and easy read I found the really good parts to be those about the training actual calls even those that are wasted time because those are a very real part of the job and continuing ed Those parts having to do with marital problems and the author s depression and loneliness were a bit too much Or there just WAS too much I am aware of the subtitle But I think the Prozac and good therapist probably played a big partWorth the read if you enjoy this sort of thing but not Earth shattering


10 thoughts on “Ambulance Girl How I Saved Myself By Becoming an EMT

  1. says:

    Having listened to Jane and her husband for years on NPR I was uite surprised to find that she authored this book A friend who is an EMT loan

  2. says:

    Loved loved loved this book I could not put it down I read it in one day Jane Stern is fighting depression and a series of phobias that we learn stem from a challenging and sad childhood as well as family background so at the age of 53 she decides to become an EMT Reminiscent of Michael Perry's writing in Population 485 we laugh and cry as Jane takes all her coursework in the first half of the book and then puts her knowledge to practice

  3. says:

    I read this book partly because it was by a local author and I enjoyed it because I knew all the locations where it takes place An h

  4. says:

    The Road Food author reveals her own Woody Allen esue neuroses in a tale about being a volunteer EMT A fun read

  5. says:

    Not what I expected I bought this book because I thought it would delve deeper into how becoming an EMT saved her but it was of a story of the process of becoming one

  6. says:

    The stories about her EMT calls were interesting but the endless talk of her depression phobias and other issues were too distracting Woe Is Ambulance GirlI realize the author was trying to show the contrast between what she initially thought she could handle what she ultimately had to do as an EMT However she constantly cast herself in a gir

  7. says:

    I grabbed this book from a display at the library I am familiar with the writing of Jane and Michael Stern and their food writing is generally betterNot that the writing was bad this is a fast interesting and easy read I found the really good parts to be those about the training actual calls even those that are wasted time because those are a very real part of the job and continuing ed Those parts having to do

  8. says:

    I usually love stories about EMTs but this one is too full of the author's personal anxieties I think those ane

  9. says:

    2020 bk 112 I've been a fan of the food writings of Jane and Michael Stern for uite some time This book is a total departure from that genre and instead allows you an intimate look into Jane's personal family history and her personal salvation To put it bluntly Jane was severely traumatized as a young girl her father was

  10. says:

    I like seeing things from Jane Stern's point of view She tells the stories in a way that is so easy for me to get into Rec